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Group of multi-ethnic women in exercise class

Skip the Gym, Save Money & Lose Weight

Did you know that 37 percent of Americans made “losing weight” their New Year’s resolution? You have probably seen an influx of offers for discounts at local and national gym chains. The only thing is that these gym memberships are still expensive, averaging $58 per month. And that's without counting any miscellaneous upfront charges. If you want to get fit without spending a ton, here are some budget- and body-friendly ideas to help you have a healthier 2017!

Group of multi-ethnic women in exercise class
1.) Diet
It doesn't matter how much you exercise if you are not eating well. You will not lose weight and you could still suffer the effects of a poor diet, like low energy and hypertension.
Nutritionist Shawn Talbott says weight loss is 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. The biggest factor in losing weight is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), how much energy your body burns each day. For most people, this is approximately 2,000 calories. Running a mile burns 100 calories, or 5 percent of your BMR. Worse yet, exercise can have a paradoxical effect with a bad diet. After a vigorous workout, you're more likely to snack, thinking you've "earned" a reward after a run. Use a calorie-tracking app like Myfitnesspal to get a sense of where your calories are going. You can save a lot with some easy cuts!


2.) Body weight exercise
One major draw of a gym is access to strength-training equipment. It's true that cardio alone won't help as much as strength training. It's not true, though, that you need expensive machines for it!
Three simple exercises can help tone and reshape your body. Planks work your core, arms and shoulders. Squats work your glutes and legs. Toe raises work your calves. You can find tutorials for these and countless variations on YouTube. Pick a routine and stick with it!


3.) Make your own groups
Group classes in gyms force accountability and can make the exercise seem less taxing. Get these benefits outside the gym! If you have friends interested in fitness, start building fitness activities, like bike riding or running, into your regular social time.
If you're on your own, use sites like Meetup to find exercise groups that work at your skill level. If you're completely new, now is a great time, as there will be lots of people also starting a new fitness journey. To take your fitness to the next level, join an advanced group. Get fit and make new friends without spending a penny!

SOURCES:
https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/3-ways-to-build-lean-muscle-with-bodyweight-exercise
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/exercise-vs-diet-for-weight-loss_n_5207271.html
http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html

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